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Conclave highlights role of agri-innovation in transforming Indian agriculture

Binging public and private sectors together in promoting innovations, partnership and entrepreneurial climate in the Indian agricultural sector, the Agri Innovation Conclave 2014 concluded successfully in New Delhi on 18-19 May.

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Dr Dar and Mr P Kenmore visiting a value-added millet products’ stall in the expo organized at the conclave.
Photo: Sangya S, ICRISAT

The Conclave was the culmination of the Krishi Parivartan Yatra, a train journey of 50 National Agricultural Innovation Project’s (NAIP) farmer beneficiaries across five cities to share success stories on agri-ventures, and the Agri-Biz Idol Camps held to reach out to the youth and start-up entrepreneurs. The Conclave convened agribusiness experts, professionals, and other stakeholders from across the country, on a common platform to share NAIP’s success and conceive path breaking ideas for strengthening the future of agribusiness in India.

Organized by of the NAIP of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), in collaboration with the Agri-Business Incubation (ABI) program of ICRISAT, the two-day Conclave marked the successful completion of NAIP, showcasing success stories and best agri- innovative products developed under the project.

“This is just the beginning of big things to come. Transformation is important to enable economies to progress. One of the best ways to achieve this is to promote entrepreneurship in the agricultural sector. Entrepreneurs act as major building blocks of the economy anywhere in the world today. Agribusiness incubation is the only way to solve the many and diverse challenges faced by entrepreneurs,” said Dr William Dar, Director General of ICRISAT, in his special address at the Conclave.

“For us, the parameters of success have been the farmers and their growth. We call it an agricultural transformation, as we intended at the end of these five years of NAIP implementation. It has all been about giving, enabling and empowering our fellow farmers,” said Dr S Ayyappan, Director General, ICAR.

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The dignitaries during a book launch at the event.
Photo: Sangya S, ICRISAT

“ICAR is trailblazing in many ways. NAIP has benefited about 200,000 farmers in five years. This is the ultimate test of success of any development project and NAIP certainly passed it with flying colors,” said Dr D Rama Rao, National Director, NAIP.
“The joint effort of ICRISAT-ABI and NAIP’s Business Planning and Development (BPD) units has brought in a great change in the entrepreneurial system in the country. This success has to continue and the BPD operations must attain sustainability,” said Dr Kiran K Sharma, CEO, Agribusiness and Innovation Platform (AIP), ICRISAT.

Mr Onno Ruhl, World Bank Country Director for India said that: “NAIP has addressed the challenges by transforming the agriculture sector in the country and enhancing the livelihoods of the farmers. The agriculture system in India has completely changed and now farmers are having access to agricultural technology.”

According to Mr Peter Kenmore, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) representative in India, “The country is on the march towards attaining food security and NAIP has really contributed towards this aim through innumerable innovations and interventions. Development in the agriculture sector should also emphasize off-farm job creation in the rural areas through more innovations.”